Saturday, June 28, 2014

AUSTRIA: The New York Times Headline

News of the assassination was published in The New York Times the following day...

AUSTRIA: Sarajevo Today...

In Sarajevo, Divisions That Drove an Assassin Have Only Begun to Heal

Nationalist and sectarian passions continue to haunt Bosnia, which was ravaged by a civil war just two decades ago and is even now the scene of dueling efforts to define Gavrilo Princip’s legacy.

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AUSTRIA: First World War centenary: the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, as it happened

Our journey starts with an extremely promising omen. Here our car burns, and down there they will throw bombs at us.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand comments wryly on the fact that his journey to Bosnia in June 1914 begins with his car overheating
The Archduke: Franz Ferdinand, the bumptious, little-loved 51-year-old nephew of the ailing Emperor Franz Joseph, was heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. In 1913 he was made inspector general of the armed forces of Austria-Hungary; it was this role that took him to Bosnia in June 1914, to inspect the army’s summer manoeuvres.
The Duchess: Franz Ferdinand married Countess Sophie Chotek for love, for which both paid a price. She was from a Czech noble family but was deemed unfit to be a Habsburg bride; she had been a lady-in-waiting to Archduchess Isabella, whose sister Franz Ferdinand was expected to marry. Their marriage was morganatic, meaning their children were excluded from the line of succession. Although she was made Duchess of Hohenberg in 1909, the slights were constant at functions such as imperial banquets, where she had to enter the room last.
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AUSTRIA: Who Was the Archduke – Princess Anita Hohenberg Speaks

We don’t think of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a great joke-teller. That pudgy face, the piercing eyes, the overblown military attire complete with green-feathered plumed helmet, worn so ostentatiously on that fateful day, don’t seem the hallmarks of a comic. And yet according to his great-granddaughter, Anita Hohenberg, he had a keen sense of humour. Take the time he was out on a shoot and on being alerted to the proximity of a white chamois, took aim and killed it with one shot. “Bravo, your highness!” cried his followers. “Franzi, Franzi, why did you kill a white chamois? It will bring bad luck,” cried his wife, Sophie. “Don’t worry,” the Archduke replied. “There is always a reason why one has to die one day.”
The Archduke’s gallows humour was just as well, given the frequency of assassination attempts against members of Europe’s royal families at the time. The words were prophetic, too. Within a year, Franz Ferdinand was to fall victim to the most significant political assassination of all time, resulting in global war and the disappearance of the empires of Austro-Hungary, the Ottomans and Tsarist Russia.
There will be ceremonies in Sarajevo today, but none of his direct descendants will be there. “We did not want to go to a city in which people can remember the sound of bullets flying around their heads just 18 years ago,” says Ms Hohenberg.
Instead, the family will gather at Artstetten, the modest castle about 60 miles west of Vienna containing the crypt which the pair had chosen as their final resting place. At the nearby Basilika Maria Taferl there will be a service presided over by the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn; later there will be processions of soldiers dressed in the uniforms of the time, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, Italians, Serbs: former enemies, but for today, friends.

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AUSTRIA: The Telegraph's Take

This day 100 years ago dawned memorably bright over Sarajevo. After days of stormy rain, Sunday June 28,1914 began cloudless as Austria-Hungary, the imperial power that held dominion over the small Balkan province of Bosnia, prepared for a show of ostentatious pageantry in its capital.
Loyal citizens came out in their thousands, lining the route into the city centre that was to be used for a rare official visit by a top member of the Habsburg royal house, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, second only in imperial protocol to the venerable, mutton-chopped emperor himself, Franz Joseph. Witnesses remember the morning sun being fierce as the crowds gathered, eight deep in places, many of them waving the yellow imperial standard of Austria-Hungary with its double-headed black eagle, some shouting ''Long Live the Archduke’’ as the Gräf & Stift limousine drove sedately by. An imperial 21-gun salute, from the fortress high in the hills that ring Sarajevo, sent out puffs of smoke, vivid white against the blue summer sky.
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AUSTRIA: BBC Live Coverage of 1914 Assassination

Very interesting concept...extremely clever!

Friday, June 27, 2014

AUSTRIA: Centenary of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Assassination

One hundred years ago, on 28 June 1914, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by a Serbian nihilist by the name of Gavrilo Princip. Dying by the Archduke's side was his wife Sophie, who was also fatally shot by the unsteady hand of Princip.

The youngster had been trained and armed by rogue Serbian army officers. They were bent on avenging Austria-Hungary for centuries' old grievances, as well as Emperor Franz Joseph's fateful decision to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina to the multinational realm he had ruled since 1848. By doing so, the old Emperor set in motion the monster that Princip's shots unleashed on that sunny day in the summer of 1914.

No one expected that the Archduke's untimely death was to plunge the continent into a war that would destroy life as Europe and the world knew it. The conflict ignited by the shots fired in Sarajevo eventually claimed the thrones of those who had so willingly beaten war drums, thus encouraging the European monarchies to self destruct.

By November 1918 Austria-Hungary was no more. In Sofia, King Ferdinand had already been forced out and the Bulgarian throne survived by a thread. Germany collapsed and the Kaiser, the bombastic Wilhelm II, left in a hurry for permanent exile in the Netherlands. Once the Prussians lost their hold on power, nothing could stop the other German rulers from losing their own thrones. The republic was proclaimed and a way of life came to an abrupt end. The stupidity of war left behind a continent ravaged, hungry, prostrated when confront by its own hubris.

Tsar Nicholas II, who also failed to keep Russia out of war, did not witness the collapse of his enemies in Vienna and Berlin. He lost the throne in March 1917. In July 1918, he, along with his wife and children, as well as some loyal servants, was gunned down in a cellar in Yekaterinburg. It took nearly eight decades to find the final burial place of the tragic, but spineless, Tsar and the other victims of that ghastly act of atrocity. By the time war came to a screeching halt on 11 November 1918, little remained of the Romanov empire that so gallantly had gone to war in August 1914..

The European Powers learned little from the brutality of the conflict. Once peace arrived, France rushed to inflict in Germany a peace treaty that guaranteed that nation's thirst for revenge. The United Kingdom stood by and allowed their French allies to  plant the seeds of World War II. The United States retreated and pretended the globalization was a germ Americans could vaccinate against. By retreating into isolationism, the United States turned it's back on Europe and allowed Germany's humiliation to proceed.

As for Austria-Hungary, well there was little left recognizable of the once mighty of the multinational empire. Woodrow Wilson promised self determination to a group of people who clearly did not know the difference between ethnicity and national identity. The dismantling of the one structure that held these ethnic groups together only assured the continent that the Balkan powder keg would become even more flammable.

The shots fired in Sarajevo, were not only heard around the world, but they changed the planet forever. I am sure that there will be an abundance of articles and reading material to commemorate the sad events of Sarajevo. I suppose, at the very least, one can say a prayer for the soul of the Archduke and his wife, as well as the three orphaned children they left behind. Yet, one must also remember the millions whose lives were taken during the conflict and after. Had Princip misfired, the world would be an entirely different place...
Archduke Franz Ferdinand arriving in Sarajevo.

EUROHISTORY: Issue XCVIII, Volume 17.2 Mailing Soon!

Dear Readers and Subscribers,

Issue XCVII of Eurohistory will begin mailing on Wednesday, July 2.

Inside, readers will find the following articles:

1. The Abdication of King Juan Carlos of Spain, by Arturo E. Beéche

2. Kaiser Wilhelm II in Norway, by Katrina Warne

3. APAPA: King Christian IX of Denmark and His Descendants, by Roberto Cortéz González, Ph.D.

4. Book Reviews, by Coryne Hall

5. Who's In the Photograph: The Wedding of Archduke Karl of Austria and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, by Ilana D. Miller

6. The Woman Behind the Kaiser: Augusta Viktoria, The Last German Empress, by Justin Vovk

7. A Royal Montenegro, by Marlene Eilers Koenig

US Subscribers should begin receiving the magazine by July 5. European and Rest of the World Subscribers should receive it the following week!

Issue XCIX, Volume 17.3 is already in production and we expect to being mailing it before the end of July, putting us back on track.

Both Issue XCIX and Issue C will be dedicated exclusively to the centenary of the the start of World War I. They will deal with the effects of the Sarajevo assassination (XCIX) and the start of the Great War (Issue C).

Issue C, Volume 17.4 is obviously our 100th issue ... an amazing feat given the challenges magazines have these days!

Thanks in advance to all of you who allow our dreams to continue becoming reality!


Several of pour readers have asked for a link to our AMAZON page/ you go!

Sweden: Prince Carl Philip to Marry Longtime Girlfriend

HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden will marry next year his longtime live-in girlfriend Miss Sophia Hellqvist.

Read official announcement from the Royal Palace!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SPAIN: A Refreshing and Forward Move by King Felipe VI

Boti Garcia, president of Spain's State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, and José María Núñez-Blanco, president of LGBT rights group the Triangle Foundation, were invited along with representatives of 350 other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and charities involved with social causes.
García admitted that she had been surprised to receive the invitation, noting: "We have asked more than once for meetings with the vice president of the government and he's never even answered."
Spanish daily Publico reported both representatives as having connected better with the queen, who was said to have spent more time with them than the king, and who had highlighted the importance of their presence at such an event.
"We felt that our message had been listened to and understood, " said García.
She said that she had asked the queen to defend the human rights of people who may be persecuted for their sexual orientation in countries that the royal couple visit while performing official duties.
García added her hope that the meeting would "go beyond mere protocol" and lead the royal couple to adopt a "proactive defence" of human rights.
The attitude of Spain's new queen stands in stark contrast to that of her predecessor, Queen Sofia, who in 2008 declared herself opposed to same-sex marriages, leading to a statement of protest from the Triangle Foundation.
Letizia, who is said to have a close relationship with her mother-in-law, found herself in an awkward position but diplomatically described the old queen as "a woman of her time".

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Austria-Hungary: A Modern Model ...

The Austro-Hungarian monarchy provides a potential model for how the EU might reform itself, wrote the leadership of the pro-government activist group the Civil Unity Forum (CÖF) in an official statement on their website last Friday.
The CÖF explained that in the time of the monarchy, outside of foreign, military and financial affairs, Hungary had total independence and that a similar arrangement might be beneficial with regards to the EU.
The statement was published a day after one of the organization’s founders, Tamás Fricz, first raised the theme at a press conference in Budapest, drawing some public criticism as a result. The CÖF acknowledged that historical baggage might render the monarchy an unappealing template, but wrote that the suggestion was mainly meant to stimulate discussion and reflection on the future direction of the EU.
Fricz argued that the cause of the current crisis in the EU relates to the organization’s lack of democracy and sense of identity, along with its “gigantic” bureaucracy. []

Friday, June 20, 2014

SPAIN: The New Queen Stuns

How does one select an outfit to wear on the day she becomes queen? For the royal formerly known as the Princess of Asturias, a formal gown paired with a glittery tiara was not in the cards.
In an obvious nod to Spain's recovering economy, Queen Letizia looked every inch an elegant consort in an understated ivory dress with matching coat as her husband, Felipe VI, was proclaimed the new King of Spain on Thursday.

Thursday, June 19, 2014